Sunday, August 25, 2013

Another Crazy Round of Transfers


How are you? It was another crazy round of transfers. Elder Schade is going home! I can't believe it! That will be me in six months. Craaaaaaap! Elder Shimbashi is coming to our apartment to be Elder Dowe's new comp. He is from Canada, eh. Wonder if he can hit. Elder Ludlow and I will be together for one more transfer and I think we will see a lot of miracles. Our Zone changed a lot and there are more missionaries and new areas, so that brings our total to 40 missionaries in the zone. They also created a new district, so we have one more companion exchange this transfer. Things are gonna be so busy.

Well our week went well and I was able to notice the Lord's hand in our work a lot this week. We were able to find four new investigators! Three of them were found through OYM and another through housing. They all have great potential. One man in particular from China named Weijing Xuan doesn't know anything about God, so he has a lot of questions and interest in the Gospel. He came to English Class and asked us if we were going to talk about the church afterward. We said that English Class doesn't include the Gospel stuff but then he said he wanted to hear the message. Gladly we talked to him and his friend about the Gospel. We prayed with him and he said he felt powerful and peaceful afterward.

We had two investigators come to church. David came with Barbie again which is really good because they were on vacation for Obon and missed two Sundays of church. We got an appointment with David and Barbie this week as well and we hope to set a goal for going to the temple in the future and set a goal for David being baptized. The other investigator who came to church was also a new investigator this week. Her name is Fukuda and she is catholic (Christianity is pretty rare in Japan). We first met her a couple weeks ago and talked to her about the relationship between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We gave her a copy and she read some of it. She is a very deep thinker, but I think she will find that the Gospel makes sense to her. She also said that she feels calm and peaceful in the chapel.

We had some good successes with an inactive woman named Adachi Shimai. She has started reading the Book of Mormon again and praying everyday. Our visits these past few weeks have seemed to reignite the fire in her. We are also getting a lot of good fellow-shippers from the ward. This last week we went and visited her with the Bishop and the Relief Society President and I could tell she felt the Spirit. It might take a little more time, but I think she will get back to church in the near future.

One new investigator we found this week, Masatoshi, was really prepared to meet us. I talked to him on the corner while waiting to cross the street and he said he met missionaries a few years ago. It seemed like he wasn't interested then, but I talked to him about English Class and said maybe he had heard from the prior missionaries about it. He said he only talked about God with them. I invited him to English Class and asked if we could exchange contact info to get in touch later. I suggested that we could talk about the church and he said sure. I called him up later and set up a church tour for Tuesday night.

We met a missionary for a Calvinist sect a little while ago from Australia. His name is Dylan. We asked him if he knew anything about Mormons and he talked about Joseph Smith. Then he asked us about the Book of Mormon. We ended up giving him a copy and he asked for our phone number so we could talk later. We got in touch again and now he is an investigator. He hasn't directly said it, but it seems like he has the mentality that if his church doesn't have the whole truth then he wants to find the whole truth. He is also reading the Book of Mormon quite thoroughly as well.

We have seen some really good progress with Megumi Shimai recently. This week she committed to start to pray that her boss will let her have Sundays off. She told us that if she joins the church then she wants to be active and committed, but her work is standing in the way of that. We told her that if she talks to her boss and gets work of every Sunday starting in October then she can be baptized. She's still a little hesitant to put a date on it, but she is praying. Things are moving forward with her.

We had a Bye Bye Party for Elder Schade on Saturday and it was a hit. One English Class student named Masa came and despite him only talking to one other person for 50% of the time (when we weren't playing ping pong or other games) he had a blast. He goes to London this week, but we will see him again and he might have interest in the Church.

We visited the Bishop's family last night and had a lot of fun with them. I love visiting members because you can just shoot the breeze with them. We were making a bunch of jokes with overly polite Japanese and playing tricks on Elder Dowe because he can't understand Japanese very well yet. Sister Keikyu, the bishop's wife, asked Elder Schade if it was scary to think about going home and he said yes. Then the little daughter asked, "What's scary? Guns?" We all started laughing because Japanese people have a stereotype that all Americans own a gun. Guns are illegal in Japan, so Japanese people think they are scary, too. We had a fun FHE with the family and then we had to boogie home to do call in reports.

Well, that's the week. Love you all. Be Honest.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, August 19, 2013

Good Luck Finding Them on the Internet...They're not There

Dear Family,

Well this week was busy as usual. We have been able to meet with Megumi Shimai more frequently and it has a big influence in her progression. In our last lesson she said she has noticed God's blessings in her life more and feels that she gains something from reading the Book of Mormon everyday. We talked about how when she gets baptized she can have the power of God in her life at all times and our tachiai was a great help in explaining how the Gospel helps him. She still wants to be baptized, but she is still having trouble committing to a date.

Our Vietnamese investigator, Phan, came to church again yesterday! He is doing quite well. We can meet him once during the week as well as on Sundays and Bubba is fellow-shipping him well. He said he doesn't know if he can be Christian, but he isn't against coming to church and meeting with us. We made sure he knows that we don't want to force him to do anything, but we will invite him to do things that will help him come closer to God. Phan has a lot of potential.

We got two new investigators this week. One is a man from England that we met a while ago named Danny. He is having a really difficult time in life right now, so he called us on Tuesday. We met up and gave him a tour of the church and he loved sitting in the Chapel. He has been to a Christian church before, but he said that he felt like God was saying "Welcome home" to him.

The other investigator, Hidemasa, is an eighteen-year-old high school student who loves English and said he is learning about Christianity at school. He literally said, "I am interested in Christianity." We exchanged phone numbers and set up a tour of the church for this Wednesday. Another Miracle.

We went on a kokan (comp exchange) with the Tsu Elders this week. Tsu is one the far side of our zone, so we had a good train ride. I worked with Elder Arata in Gokiso. We visited a less-active woman and got her to come to church on Sunday! It was a great kokan to help Elder Arata practice housing and OYM. We had a good time and learned a lot.

Last week we had a Zone Conference, so my companion and I got to do some training for our zone. It went pretty slick, but the rest of the conference was medical and mental professionals presentations that I heard last year. On P-day last week our district went to Nagoya Castle! I got some sick pics!

I got my package with the shirts and goodies. Thank you so much. I opened it up and saluted the American Flag in our apartment. It's nice to have some USA goodies. I ate the Apple Jacks this morning and said, "Tastes like Freedom."

Well that's kind of the news. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, August 12, 2013

*Elephant Noises*

I was making elephant noises with my lips while thinking of a subject line...

Well how are you?

This week dendo was a little slower because we had Leadership Council with President Yamashita, all the Zone Leaders, and all the Training Sister Missionaries. We also had a Zone Training Meeting (ZTM) which required a lot of planning and so that took up some dendo time. It was still a good week though.  I think our ZTM went well and we were grateful to have President Yamashita there as well to help us. We also have a Zone Conference this week, so we will be busy.

At the end of ZTM, we were all challenged by President Yamashita to find a contact for Elder Schade, who will be going home soon . We saw some amazing miracles as our missionaries went out with faith and opened their mouths to everyone. Elder Schade got six referrals from it and one is already an investigator. Three people approached the missionaries and one woman said she was searching for the truth. She took a Book of Mormon and should be contacting the Elders soon.

We also got two new investigators this week. One is named Chris, a young Brazilian guy that is fluent in Japanese. He is Christian and has a lot of potential to progress rapidly. We also got a referral from a member a few weeks ago, and we contacted him. His name is Phan and the member brought him to church. We had a lesson with him, and he became an investigator. He is still young and has a young family and there are a lot of things in his life that the Gospel can help him with. He also said he will come to church next week.

My companion and I are doing great as always. I love how hard Elder Ludlow works. He truly is a diligent, obedient missionary. It's so nice to have a companion that has the skills to collaborate well during planning, work hard everyday, and teach in unity with me. He is also pretty darn good at Japanese, so it's nice not to worry about that either. :)

This week I have been studying the book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon. I found a verse that really impressed me, Jacob chapter three, verse two. Jacob serves as a really good voice of warning to the wicked, but also to the righteous people at the time. Verse two reads, "O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever." I like how it talks about being pure in heart and firm in mind. I think that's a big key of living the Gospel. Being pure in heart includes keeping the commandments and doing what's right, whenever and wherever you are. Having a firm mind makes me think of staying true to those things I know to be right. I was thinking about this verse and how I can be firm in mind and pure in heart in order to lift up my head and feast on God's love. I am proud to be a member of the Church. What do y'all think?

Maybe a little short this week.

Love you all,

Elder Sanderson

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Another Week Gone?!

Herro Prease,

What a week! We found two new investigators this week. We had to drop some that weren't really going anywhere, but the new investigators are pretty good. One woman, Iwai Shimai, was found through some housing near a member's house and another was a PI last week that became an investigator this week named Puja. Puja is from Nepal. When we went to see her this Saturday, her husband wasn't home so we couldn't go into her apartment. She went down the hall to another apartment and got an old man to come sit in our lesson. It was pretty funny because we have met the old man before. He wasn't a huge fan of ours.

We had a Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival)  at our ward this week. It was really fun and a lot of members invited friends that we were able to talk to. We also had some investigators there. Barbie was able to make it, but unfortunately David couldn't come. He and Barbie came to church yesterday, which was great. David has come to church every week since the beginning of July. We are also making good progress towards baptism with David. Barbie and David don't really want to move away from each other. They would prefer to get married, but there are a lot of obstacles in the way of them getting married. Barbie said something about keeping the commandments and being worthy for God's miracle when it comes that made us think she is warming up other ideas that can lead to David getting baptized.

We also had lessons with Megumi Shimai and Mibu Kyodai this week. They both want to be baptized but they don't want to commit to a date yet. We had our lesson with Mibu Kyodai at a cafe near his apartment and we taught him the first lesson. Elder Ludlow and I explained baptism to Mibu Kyodai and we asked him how he would feel if all his pains and guilt were washed away. He said he wants it. So we committed him to be baptized when he knows the church is true.

We have a newer investigator that is very prepared for the Gospel. His name is Goe and he is really interested in the Church. He committed to come to church this Sunday, read the Book of Mormon, and Pray everyday all in the first lesson. He will progress fast. We are looking forward to our appointment with him on Friday.

We had two companion exchanges this week. One with Gokiso Elders and one with Yokkaichi 1 Elders. Elder Schade and I worked together in Gokiso and we taught a college student named Takashi Kyodai about the Book of Mormon. He will read the Book of Mormon even though he is in America now. The exchange in Yokkaichi was great. I was able to do Kato Kyodai's baptismal interview and he passed! We also found a new investigator and a PI on the exchange. Good stuff.

That's the update this week. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson